Letter to the Editor: Vote yes on the road levy

Posted October 21, 2022 at 8:42 pm by

Please vote yes for the road levy — Propo­si­tion 1. The San Juan Coun­ty road fund lacks suf­fi­cient fund­ing to repair crit­i­cal infra­struc­ture in San Juan Coun­ty. Your yes vote will address:

  1. Over a dozen marine facilities
  2. Hun­dreds of cul­verts under roads or in side ditches
  3. Safer road shoul­ders along busy arterials

The infra­struc­ture of roads and marine facil­i­ties depends on sound man­age­ment for a healthy econ­o­my, for our safe­ty, and for our qual­i­ty of life. Sound man­age­ment demands long-term plan­ning with sta­ble fund­ing to repair all struc­tures effi­cient­ly. The one per­cent annu­al increase to the road levy allowed by state law can no longer keep up. It takes a sen­si­ble plan look­ing decades ahead to make the best use of tax dol­lars to main­tain this vital infra­struc­ture. A yes vote will allow that.

Costs are high­er today, the use of roads is greater with dif­fer­ent vehi­cles and elec­tric bicy­cles and pedes­tri­ans. More severe weath­er dam­ages roads and marine facil­i­ties which forces emer­gency repairs — the most expen­sive repairs. Hun­dreds of old under­sized or bro­ken cul­verts are a good exam­ple of the chal­lenge fac­ing San Juan Coun­ty. There is no quick fix for such a cost­ly chal­lenge; only a sound main­te­nance plan can avoid more road washouts or dam­age to inter­sect­ing driveways.

Let’s not end up like the fer­ry sys­tem, which has failed to address an aging fleet lead­ing to the unnec­es­sary repairs and delays that hurt us and the local econ­o­my. Vote yes for the road levy.

David Zeret­zke
San Juan Island

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Categories: Around Here


  1. David has it com­plete­ly wrong. Vote NO. All these pro­grams are already paid for. If the coun­ty needs more mon­ey for main­te­nance, raise tax­es from vaca­tion rentals, boat moor­age and beg from the state. Locals don’t have time to ride bikes, they’re work­ing to pay the prop­er­ty tax­es the coun­ty went crazy on.

    Comment by Randy Davis on October 22, 2022 at 11:03 pm
  2. I ful­ly sup­port an increase in the road levy and vote a resound­ing YES. The Coun­ty, by law, can only use lodg­ing tax from vaca­tion rentals on spe­cif­ic projects, some of which they use to ben­e­fit res­i­dents who use these facil­i­ties, ie: parks and muse­ums, year round. The Coun­ty can­not use those funds for roads.
    The tax to fund roads in our very vast coun­ty have not been increased since 1994 while costs for oil and oth­er asso­ci­at­ed costs that effect paving costs have sky­rock­et­ed. I val­ue safe and main­tained roads for the rel­a­tive­ly small cost and after such a long peri­od of mak­ing due.
    Also, if any­one read the Argu­ment Against the road levy in the Vot­ers Bul­letin, they were incor­rect when they said that if the levy pass­es, our prop­er­ty tax­es would increase by 79%. That is total­ly wrong. The road levy com­pris­es just 7% of our prop­er­ty tax­es and the increased levy would increase that 7% by 79%.……Way Dif­fer­ent and Way less.

    Comment by Susan Kollet on October 23, 2022 at 12:50 pm
  3. Nei­ther per­son addressed how they deter­mined their per­cent that makes sense. Instead of unsup­port­ed per­cents, what are the dol­lar val­ues so we can cal­cu­late what is being said. At the moment, my answer is no if I have to use this numer­i­cal food fight.

    Comment by Terry Forsyth on October 24, 2022 at 8:14 pm

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